We’ve done it! We’ve spent a whole year going through Psalms. We have dealt with virtually every major theological issue pertaining to personal, relational, emotional, and volitional (decision-making) issues. So much of life… maybe even all of life’s issues and concerns…are found in the book of Psalms. As we end our time in this book, we better understand why Psalms is affectionately called a “Mini-Bible.”
Our over-arching theme this year has been “re-orientation.” So much of life can work against us. As we try to stay oriented toward Christ, we are constantly bombarded with things that take us off course. We constantly have to battle against a culture that is bent away from God. Then, there is our own sinfulness…we’re selfish people by nature; we want everything to be about us. As if this wasn’t bad enough, then there is the Devil, the evil one; he is real and he is a malevolent being who hates God and us. All of these feelings and emotions, these battles against our enemies, can seem overwhelming at times; this is what disorientation does to us. Re-orientation draws us back to what is real, to what really matters in life; it brings us back to God.
We connect with Psalms because we see the psalmist expressing the same feelings we have, these deep disorienting thoughts and feelings. Again and again we see him going back to what he knows is true about God; he re-orients himself back to God.
This week we’re going to go back to where we first began, Psalm 1.
Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
“1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers…”
Psalm 1 has been called the doorkeeper of the book of Psalms. It stands at the beginning of the book and asks the reader, “What do you want? Do you want God? Then enter here. Do you want something else? You won’t find satisfaction walking this way.” We have a choice to make. Do we walk the path that leads to God, or do we walk the path that leads to destruction and brokenness, the path that leads away from God?
Verse 1 tells us the person who enters the path that leads to God is blessed. The word used for “blessed” means happy or good fortune…to be in a state of joyful mindedness. He wants us to know there is no illusion about the sinful life; it is NOT the good life. If we’re going to enter into a life oriented toward God, then we’ve got to stay away from the kind of people that would lead us astray; those who would lead us down the path away from God. Who are those people? They’re the ones who have turned from God; they’ve exchanged the truth of God for a lie.
Note that the psalmist is not telling us to isolate ourselves completely, for we are to share the reason for our hope with them. Instead, we are not to be complicit or offer unspoken approval of the sin or mockery. To do this is to move into dis-orientation.
Who is it that you’re listening to today? Are you listening to folks who want to lead you away from God? Do your friends build you up in Christ or do they tear down your relationship with Him? Do they lead you into dis-orientation?
If there is something that needs to change, would you be willing to do that today? Spend some time orienting yourself back to God.
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.